Record number of teens earn Scouting’s Gold Award

A record 87 young women in San Diego County recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, Girl Scouting’s highest honor.

The achievement was announced by the San Diego Girl Scouts Council. Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award by showing their accomplishments in leadership, community service, career planning and personal development. Each Scout chooses a local or global issue she cares about, researches it, creates a plan to address it, recruits others to help execute it, and ensures its sustainability. Only 5 percent of eligible Girl Scouts achieve this honor.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gold Award Girl Scouts had to rethink how they would execute their projects. Sample projects: connecting teens with seniors to alleviate isolation during quarantine; recruiting registrants for an international bone marrow registry; educating people in five countries about Type I diabetes; creating an online STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) tutoring network for middle school girls.

Gold Award Girl Scouts are eligible for special scholarships and enlist in the military at a higher pay grade. According to a Girl Scout Research Institute study, Gold Award Girl Scouts are more likely than other girls their age to have positive attitudes and be optimistic about the future, see themselves as leaders, believe they can achieve their goals, and volunteer and make charitable donations in the future.

In North County, Gold Award Girl Scouts are:

Carlsbad High School: Allison Mariko Tanita, Troop 1661, Little Local Library

Cathedral Catholic High School: McKenna Radley, Troop 3627, Crafts for Kids

Del Norte High School: Della Trupp, Troop 8718, Continuing Music in College Workshop; Shruti Chari, Troop 8854, One Wish One Step; Emma Jane Francis, Troop 8854, Financial Independence; Chloe McGee, Troop 8776, Spreading Kindness; Anneliese Peerbolte; Troop 3096, Gold Award Garden; Anya Sabhnani, Troop 8797, Preparing Senior Citizens for Emergencies; Aishani Vora, Troop 8797, Financial Literacy

Canyon Crest Academy: Lia Cociorva, Troop 3892, Healthy Eating Made Fun; Aarya Mishra, Troop 1475, Project Self-Defense; Karina Parikh, Troop 1739, “Stick 2 You” Wellness Podcast; Maya Rosenbaum, Troop 1846, Gratitude Journaling for Teen Mental Health and Well-being; Lauren Lakin, Troop 1741, It’s All About the Kids Club; Isabelle Sach, Troop 1674, Free CPR/First Aid/Beach and Water Safety Workshops; Kaya Patidar, Troop 1831, Sports for All

La Costa Canyon High School: Ellie Fox, Troop 1020, Coping with Mental Illness Together

Mt. Carmel High School: Lindsey Kurtz, Troop 8713, Disaster Preparedness

Pacific Ridge School: Natalie Patton, Troop 1852, Mind, Body, and Mental Health; Kimberly Cheung, Troop 1264, Stay Ready to Play

Poway High School: Abigail Gant, Troop 8390, Not Stressin’; Sarah Palluconi, Troop 8080, Inspiring Poway Unified Through History; Katie O’Connell, Troop 8157, The Art of Happiness Project

Rancho Bernardo High School: Maddie Engblom, Troop 8907, It’s Our Ocean, Too: Educating Youth About Plastic Pollution; Marion Gates, Troop 8219, Lacrosse Ladies

Sage Creek High School: Elizabeth Gerhardt, Troop 1661, Choose Life; Charlotte Wiggins, Troop 1661, Intersectional Environmentalism for the Modern Generation

San Dieguito High School Academy: Tegan Schlosser, Troop 1728, Suicide Prevention Through Kindness; Sunshine Harris, Troop 1689, Help Women of Africa

San Marcos High School: Maya Amin, Troop 4142, Healthy Eating for Athletes; Hannah Fritcher, Individual participant, Outdoor Learning Environment; Emily Hurley, Troop 4104, Allergy Friendly Baking; Megan Laplante, Troop 4266, Bone Marrow Donor Education and Awareness; Sara Ros, Troop 4266, Zoonotic Disease Awareness; Dillan Selitsch, Troop 4142, Spreading Sports Safety Awareness

Scripps Ranch High School: Riley Blemker, Troop 8714, Beach Cleanup Club; Catrina Calkins, Troop 8461, Website for Home Economics; Kaila Rosing, Troop 2057, Facemasks for the Homeless; Esha Walia, Troop 8633, Advocating for ALS Patients and Families; Samantha Scotchlas, Troop 3017, Females Forging Future Females

Torrey Pines High School: Lana Kabakibi, Troop 3892, Virtual Summer Art Classes; Ava Sargent, Troop 1740, Letters to Strangers; Claire Bickett, Troop 1740, Environmental Education; Laine Michaels, Troop 1740, Generations Connect

Warner High School: Nitasha Drake, Troop 8933, Health and Gardening Education for Children and the Elderly

Westview High School: Melos Ambaye, Individual participant, Helping Students Balance Athletics and Academics; Hope Weng, Troop 3161, Torrey Pine Trees